Election law

Political Parties Act -2012 Austria

Federal Act on the Financing of Political Parties (Party Act 2012 – PartG)

StF: Federal Law Gazette I No. 56/2012 (NR: GP XXIV RV 1782 AB 1844 p . 163.BR : 8746 AB 8751 p. 810. )

Austria

1st Part

Political parties and accountability

Foundation, statutes, transparency

§ 1.

(Constitutional provision)

(1) The existence and diversity of political parties are essential components of the democratic order of the Republic of Austria (Art. 1 B-VG, Federal Law Gazette No. 1/1930 ).

(2) A political party is a permanently organized association that aims to exert a comprehensive influence on state decision-making through joint activities, in particular by participating in elections for general representative bodies and the European Parliament, and whose statutes are deposited with the Federal Ministry of the Interior.

(3) The establishment of political parties is free, unless otherwise stipulated by federal constitutional law. Their activity must not be subject to any restriction by special legal provisions.

(4) The political parties have to adopt statutes, which they have to deposit with the Federal Ministry of the Interior. This has to keep a publicly accessible directory, which has to contain the name of the political party and the date of the deposit of the statutes. With the deposit of the statutes, the political party acquires legal personality. The political parties must publish the statutes in a suitable manner on the Internet. The articles of association must contain information about the

1.

Organs of the party and their power of representation, whereby in any case a management body, a general meeting and a supervisory body must be provided,

2.

Rights and obligations of members,

3.

Structure of the party,

4th

Provisions on the voluntary dissolution of the political party.

(5) Political parties can announce their voluntary dissolution to the Federal Ministry of the Interior.

(6) Federal law may delegate the task of

1.

To receive statements of accounts from political parties as well as campaigning parties that are not political parties, and audit reports to check and publish them, to appoint auditors to review statements of accounts and to announce the amounts for party sponsorship, election advertising expenses and donations that have been changed by valorisation,

2.

to request legal entities under its control to disclose legal transactions with political parties or with companies in which a political party or an affiliated organization or branches of a party that has legal personality or an campaigning party that is not a political party are involved and to publish this information on its website,

3.

Donations that parties or campaigning parties that are not political parties, or members of parliament or campaigners who have stood on an election proposal submitted by a political party, have received in an inadmissible manner, are to be kept, and are to be cited in their activity report To forward institutions that serve charitable or scientific purposes, and

4th

in the event of suspected violations by political parties or campaigning parties that are not political parties, or affiliated organizations or branches of a party that have their own legal personality, or suspected violations by a member of parliament or an election candidate who stood as a candidate on an election proposal submitted by a political party to submit the documents to the competent authority against accountability obligations or against acceptance of donations or against restrictions on election advertising costs.

§ 2

Note for the following provision

Is only applicable to those political parties that have filed their statutes since January 1, 2000 or have run for elections to a general representative body or to the European Parliament since January 1, 2000 (cf. § 16 Paragraph 4).

Definitions

§ 2.

 In the sense of the following paragraphs:

1.

Political party”: every party within the meaning of § 1, whereby this term is to be understood comprehensively and includes all territorial (state, district, municipal organizations) and non-territorial (sub-organizations defined according to thematic criteria or those of the interest group),

2.

“Campaigning party”: a group of voters who take part in campaigning for a general representative body or the European Parliament under the leadership of a different party name and the establishment of a party list,

3.

“Affiliated organization”: an organization with its own legal personality that is separate from the political party (including its subdivisions within the meaning of Section 5 (1)) that supports this political party or participates in the decision-making of this political party, in particular through assignments to bodies or their This political party is involved, in particular, through secondments to organs, provided that this type of cooperation between the political party and the organization is specified either in their legal bases or in the statutes of the party. Parliamentary clubs within the meaning of Section 1 of the Club Financing Act 1985, Federal Law Gazette No. 156, and legal entities within the meaning of Section 1, Paragraph 2 of the Publizistikförderungsgesetz 1984, Federal Law Gazette No. 369,

3a.

“Personnel committee”: an organization of natural and legal persons separate from the political party (in the sense of item 1), with the aim of providing material support to a party for an election or an election candidate. Personnel committees must register with the independent party transparency senate, specifying their members,

4th

“Election advertising expenditure”: the expenditure that a political party or a campaigning party that is not a political party, from the date of the election up to the election day for a general representative body or the European Parliament, specifically spends on electoral disputes,

5.

“Donation”: any payment, contribution in kind or living subsidy made by an individual or a legal entity

a.

a political party or

b.

a campaigning party that is not a political party, or

c.

a division of the political party that has its own legal personality or

d.

a related organization, with the exception of those within the meaning of Section 4a, Paragraph 2, Item 4 of the Income Tax Act 1988, Federal Law Gazette No. 400, as well as those institutions that promote popular sport, or

e.

to MPs who stood for election on an election proposal submitted by a political party, or

f.

to candidates who stood for election on an election proposal submitted by a political party without corresponding consideration. Membership fees, contributions from the mandataries and functionaries belonging to the respective party, contributions from professional and business associations and other interest groups with voluntary membership within the meaning of Article II, Paragraph 1 of the Federal Law, Federal Law Gazette No. 391/1975 to those in their own , are not to be regarded as donations Organizations represented by groups, donations from legal professional interest groups to the groups represented in their organs as well as donations in the context of events customary in local politics to the value of up to 100 euros per person and event, insofar as these are not subject to the cash register obligation,

6th

“Sponsorship”: any payment, contribution in kind or living subsidy from a natural or legal person

a.

a political party,

b.

a campaigning party that is not a political party, or

c.

a division of a political party that has its own legal personality or

d.

a related organization, with the exception of those within the meaning of Section 4a, Paragraph 2, Item 3 of the Income Tax Act 1988, Federal Law Gazette No. 400, as well as those institutions that promote popular sport, or

e.

an MP who stood as a candidate on an election proposal submitted by a political party, or

f.

an election candidate who stood for election on an election proposal submitted by a political party,

with the aim of promoting their name, their appearance, their activities or their services, especially at events under lit. a to f listed persons or organizations booths are rented or the logo or company name is otherwise used, in particular on invitation cards, event notices or in the context of events; Publications in the media are not considered sponsorship,

7th

“Advertisement”: a publication in media, the media owner of which is a political party, arranged for payment, contribution in kind or living subsidy.

§ 3

Note for the following provision

Constitutional provision

Only applicable to those political parties that have filed their statutes since January 1, 2000 or have run for elections to a general representative body or to the European Parliament since January 1, 2000 (cf. § 16 Paragraph 4).

2nd Part

Amount and distribution of funding, limitation of election advertising expenditure

Party promotion

§ 3.

 (Constitutional provision)The federal, state and local governments can allocate funding to political parties annually for their work in participating in the formation of political will in the federal, state and local governments. For this purpose, the political parties that are represented in a general representative body may be granted a total of at least 3.10 euros per person entitled to vote for the respective general representative body, but no more than 11 euros. The federal states can regulate their funding within the double framework in order to ensure participation in the formation of political will at the district and municipal level. To determine the number of persons entitled to vote, the number of persons entitled to vote at the last election to the general representative body must be taken into account. Any additional donation to political parties and campaigning parties to cover election costs in elections for general representative bodies is not permitted. Federal funding for political parties is to be regulated by a special federal law.

§ 4

Note for the following provision

Is only applicable to those political parties that have filed their statutes since January 1, 2000 or have run for elections to a general representative body or to the European Parliament since January 1, 2000 (cf. § 16 Paragraph 4).

Restriction on canvassing spending

§ 4.

(1) Each political party may spend a maximum of 7 million euros (note 1) on election advertising between the key date of the election and the election day for a general representative body or the European Parliament . If the same nomination is supported by two or more political parties, the maximum amount applies to the total expenses of these parties. In the maximum amount are also the issues of persons committees and individual campaigner who have a candidate on a tabled by the political party nomination, to be included, with expenditures of an electoral advertiser for tailored to his person canvassing up to an amount of EUR 15 000 (Note 1) except Consider staying.

(2) Expenses for election advertising are in particular:

1.

Outdoor advertising, especially posters,

2.

Direct mail and direct mail,

3.

Folder,

4th

Campaign gifts for distribution,

5.

Advertisements and advertisements in print, radio and audiovisual media,

6th

Cinema spots,

7th

Gross costs for party media, insofar as they are distributed in a higher circulation or higher number than in non-election campaign times,

8th.

Internet advertising costs,

9.

Costs of the communications, media, advertising, direct advertising, event, switching, PR and similar agencies and call centers commissioned for the election campaign,

10.

additional staff costs,

11.

Political party expenses for candidates

12th

Political party expenditures for natural persons and groups of persons in support of an election candidate.

(_________________

Note 1: see § 14 valorisation rule)

§ 5

Note for the following provision

Is only applicable to those political parties that have filed their statutes since January 1, 2000 or have run for elections to a general representative body or to the European Parliament since January 1, 2000 (cf. § 16 Paragraph 4).

3rd Part

accountability

Accountability report

§ 5.

(1) Each political party has to give an annual report on the nature of its income and expenditure publicly. This report also has to cover those divisions of the political party that do not have legal personality. The statement of accounts is divided into two parts, with the first part showing the income and expenditure of the federal organization and the second part those of its territorial (state, district, municipal organizations) and non-territorial sub-organizations (according to thematic criteria or sub-organizations defined by the interest group) structured according to the individual national organization and depending on the individual non-territorial sub-organization – must be disclosed, regardless of whether they have their own legal personality or are themselves parties within the meaning of § 1. In deviation from Paragraphs 4 and 5, the report section on the district and community organizations includes a comparison of the total amount of income and expenditure. The respective party organization is responsible for preparing the respective report content. Insofar as a political party according to § 1 as a territorial division is already covered by an accountability report according to the third sentence, its accountability is considered fulfilled.

(1a) A list of the names of the territorial structures (state, district, municipal organizations) and non-territorial sub-organizations (according to thematic criteria or those sub-organizations defined by the interest group) that are taken into account in the second part of the report must be attached to the statement of accounts.

(2) This statement of accounts must be checked and signed by two auditors who are not affiliated with the law firm (Section 9) (Section 8). The auditors are appointed by the Court of Auditors for five years from a five-man proposal from the respective political party. A subsequent reappointment is not permitted.

(3) Proof of the restriction on election advertising expenditure (Section 4 (1)) must be shown in a separate section in the annual report relating to the election year. Further accountability obligations regulated by state law remain unaffected.

(4) The annual report must show at least the following types of income and income separately:

1.

Membership fees, whereby membership fees from an amount of € 7,500 per calendar year must be shown stating the name of the member and the amount of the amount,

2.

Payments from related organizations,

3.

Funding,

4th

Contributions from the mandataries and officials belonging to the respective party,

5.

Income from party’s own economic activity,

6th

Income from company investments,

7th

Income from other property,

8th.

Donations (with the exception of Z 11 and 12),

9.

Income from events, from the production and sale of printed matter, as well as similar income resulting directly from party activity,

10.

Income from sponsorship and advertisements,

11.

Income in the form of staff provided free of charge or without corresponding remuneration (living subsidies),

12th

Benefits in kind,

13th

Taking out loans,

14th

other income and receipts, whereby those of more than 5% of the respective annual income are to be shown separately.

 

(5) The annual report must show at least the following types of expenditure separately:

1.

Staff,

2.

Office expenses and purchases, except for low-value assets,

3.

Material expenses for public relations including press products,

4th

Events,

5.

Vehicle fleet,

6th

other administrative expenses,

7th

Membership fees and international work,

8th.

Legal, examination and consulting costs,

9.

Loan costs and loan repayments,

10.

Expenses for trips and journeys,

11.

Payments to company shares,

12th

Payments to related organizations,

13th

Support of an applicant for the election of the Federal President,

14th

other types of expenditure, whereby those in the amount of more than 5% of the respective annual expenditure are to be shown separately.

 

(6) A list of those companies in which the party and / or an organization closely related to it and / or a division and / or sub-organization of the party that has its own legal personality has at least 5% direct shares or 10% indirect shares must be attached to the statement of accounts or holds voting rights. Associated organizations and divisions or sub-organizations of the party that have their own legal personality must provide the political party with the necessary complete and correct information. If this information has already been transmitted to a higher-level territorial division of a political party, the obligation to transmit is deemed to have been fulfilled.

(7) Each political party must submit the statement of accounts including lists of donations, sponsorships and advertisements and the list of affiliated companies in accordance with Paragraph 6 to the Court of Audit by September 30 of the following year. Affiliated organizations and branches as well as sub-organizations of the party that have their own legal personality, as well as members of parliament and candidates who have stood for election on an election proposal submitted by the political party, must provide the political party with the complete and correct lists required for the donation, sponsorship and advertisement lists To submit information. The time limit specified in the first sentence can be extended by the Court of Auditors by up to four weeks in the event of a justified request from the political party.

§ 6

Note for the following provision

Is only applicable to those political parties that have filed their statutes since January 1, 2000 or have run for elections to a general representative body or to the European Parliament since January 1, 2000 (cf. § 16 Paragraph 4).

donate

§ 6.

 (1) Each political party can accept donations in accordance with the following provisions (§ 2 no. 5).

(1a) Each political party within the meaning of § 2 no. 1 may accept donations with a total value of € 750,000 per calendar year. Any additional donations must be forwarded to the Court of Auditors immediately. This provision also applies to new campaigning parties that have not yet come under the material scope of this law and who have filed statutes before their first appearance for the election of a general representative body or the European Parliament, but for the first appearance in an election in the relevant calendar year twice this amount applies as the maximum limit. For existing political parties within the meaning of this federal act or their territorial and non-territorial sub-organizations that stand in elections to a state parliament in which they are not yet represented,

(2) In an annex to the annual report (§ 5), each political party has to show donations separately as follows:

1.

Donations to the political party and those to its branches that do not have their own legal personality,

2.

Donations to related organizations, with the exception of those within the meaning of Section 4a, Paragraph 2, Item 3 of the Income Tax Act 1988, Federal Law Gazette No. 400, as well as institutions that promote popular sport and to branches of the party that have their own legal personality,

3.

Donations to members of parliament and candidates who have stood as candidates on an election proposal submitted by the political party.

(3) The system is to be structured as follows:

1.

Total amount of donations from natural persons who do not fall under item 2,

2.

Total amount of donations from natural and legal persons entered in the commercial register,

3.

Total amount of donations from associations that do not fall under item 4 and

4th

Total amount of donations from professional and business associations based on voluntary membership, from institutions, foundations or funds.

This does not apply to donations to organizations according to Para. 2 Z 1 and 2 at community level as well as to members of parliament and candidates according to Paragraph 2 no.3.

 

(4) Donations, the total amount of which in a calendar year (accounting year ) exceed the amount of 2,500 euros (note 1) , must be shown stating the name and address of the donor. Donations to federal, state and district organizations are to be added together.

(5) For each donor, regardless of whether it is a legal or a natural person, donations to a political party within the meaning of § 2 no. 1 are only permitted in the total amount of € 7,500 per calendar year. For legal entities that have subsidiaries or similar structures, this maximum amount applies in total per calendar year. For new campaigning parties within the meaning of Paragraph 1a, third sentence, the maximum amount is five times that amount. For political parties not represented in the Landtag within the meaning of Paragraph 1a last sentence, the maximum amount is double, provided that the donors’ donations are earmarked for the purposes of election advertising in the context of the respective Landtag election campaign and are used accordingly. Donations over € 2. 500 must be reported to the Court of Auditors immediately, stating the donor and amount. The Court of Auditors must publish these donations immediately, stating the donor and the amount.

(6) Political parties may not accept donations from:

1.

parliamentary clubs within the meaning of the Club Financing Act 1985, Federal Law Gazette No. 156, and state parliament clubs,

2.

Legal entities within the meaning of Section 1 (2) of the Publizistikförderungsgesetz 1984, Federal Law Gazette No. 369, and educational institutions of the parties funded by the federal states,

3.

public corporations,

4th

non-profit institutions within the meaning of Section 4a, Paragraph 2, Items 1 to 3 Income Tax Act 1988, Federal Law Gazette No. 400, as well as institutions that promote popular sport,

5.

Enterprises and institutions in which the public sector has a stake of at least 25%,

6th

foreign natural or legal persons,

7th

natural or legal persons, provided it is a cash donation that exceeds the amount of 500 euros (note 1) ,

8th.

anonymous donors, provided the donation in individual cases more than 500 euros (n. 1) is,

9.

natural or legal persons who obviously want to forward a donation from an unnamed third party, provided that the donation is more than 500 euros (note 1) ,

10.

natural or legal persons who obviously want to make a donation to the party in anticipation of or in return for a certain economic or legal advantage and

11.

Third parties who want to raise donations for this party in return for a fee to be paid by the party.

 

(7) Donations that are not permitted under Paragraphs 1a, 5 and 6 must be forwarded by the party to the Court of Auditors immediately, at the latest when submitting the annual report for the year in question. The Court of Auditors must keep the incoming amounts in a separate account and also state them in its activity report (Art. 126d Paragraph 1 B-VG).

(8) At the beginning of the following calendar year, the Court of Auditors forwards the amounts received within a calendar year according to Paragraph 7 to institutions that serve charitable or scientific purposes.

(9) Paragraphs 1a and 3 to 8 apply mutatis mutandis to all divisions of a party, to members of parliament and candidates who have stood for election on an election proposal submitted by the political party, to personal committees and to related organizations, with the exception of those within the meaning of § 4a Paragraph 2 no.3 Income Tax Act 1988, Federal Law Gazette No. 400, as well as institutions that serve to promote recreational sports.

(9a) Income and expenditure from personal committees in the period from January 1, 2017 to July 1, 2019 must be disclosed to the Court of Auditors by January 1, 2020 at the latest.

(10) ( Constitutional provision ) Deviating from Paragraphs 2 to 7, stricter regulations can be issued by state legislation.

(_________________

Note 1: see § 14 valorisation rule)

§ 7

Note for the following provision

Paragraph 4: Constitutional provision

Applies in 2012 with the stipulation that income from sponsoring and advertisements must only be reported if the underlying agreements were concluded after July 1, 2012 (cf. § 16 Paragraph 2).
Is only applicable to those political parties that have filed their statutes since January 1, 2000 or have run for elections to a general representative body or to the European Parliament since January 1, 2000 (cf. § 16 Paragraph 4).

Sponsorship and advertisements

§ 7.

(1) In an annex to the annual report (§ 5), each political party has income from sponsoring (§ 2 no.6), the total amount of which in a calendar year (accounting year) exceeds the amount of 12,000 euros, stating the name and address of the Identify sponsors. Sponsoring for federal, state and district organizations is to be added together.

(2) In the same way, income from advertisements (§ 2 Z 7) is to be shown by each political party, if this income exceeds the amount of 3,500 euros in individual cases, stating the name and address of the advertiser.

(3) The obligation to disclose the income from sponsoring (§ 2 Z 6) and advertisements (§ 2 Z 7) also exists for all branches of a party, for members of parliament and candidates who have stood for election on an election proposal submitted by the political party, and for related organizations, with the exception of those within the meaning of Section 4a, Paragraph 2, Item 3 of the Income Tax Act 1988, Federal Law Gazette No. 400, as well as institutions that promote popular sport.

(4) ( Constitutional provision ) Deviating from Paragraphs 1 to 3, stricter regulations can be issued by state legislation.

§ 8th

Note for the following provision

Is only applicable to those political parties that have filed their statutes since January 1, 2000 or have run for elections to a general representative body or to the European Parliament since January 1, 2000 (cf. § 16 Paragraph 4).

4th Part

Control of accountability

Examination and control

§ 8th.

(1) The examination of the annual reports shall extend to whether the provisions of this federal act have been complied with. The examination is to be designed in such a way that arithmetical inaccuracies and violations of this law can be recognized in the case of conscientious professional practice.

(2) The auditor can demand all explanations and evidence from the organs or from persons authorized to do so that the careful fulfillment of his audit obligation requires. In this respect, he is also allowed to examine the documents for the compilation of the statement of accounts, the books and documents as well as the cash and assets.

(3) The result of the examination is to be recorded in a written examination report which is to be handed over to the management bodies of the party.

(4) If there are no objections to be raised after the final result of the audit, the auditor must confirm by means of a note that after a dutiful audit based on the books of the political party and the information and evidence given by the management bodies or persons authorized to represent the Accountability report complies with the provisions of this Act to the extent audited. If there are objections to be raised, the examiner must refuse or restrict the confirmation in his audit report.

(5) The audit note must be attached to the statement of accounts. The annual report must be submitted to the Court of Auditors.

§ 9

Note for the following provision

Is only applicable to those political parties that have filed their statutes since January 1, 2000 or have run for elections to a general representative body or to the European Parliament since January 1, 2000 (cf. § 16 Paragraph 4).

Incompatibilities for auditors

§ 9.

 (1) An auditor may not be an auditor if there are reasons, in particular relationships of a business, financial or personal nature, according to which there is concern about bias.

(2) An auditor is excluded as an auditor if he

1.

holds an office or function in or for the party or has exercised it in the past three years,

2.

participated in the maintenance of the books or the preparation of the statement of accounts to be audited beyond the auditing activities,

3.

is the legal representative, member of the supervisory board or partner of a legal person or a partnership, an employee of a natural or legal person or a partnership, provided that the natural or legal person, the partnership or one of its shareholders is not an auditor for the reasons stated in no. 1 or 2 the party may be.

(3) An auditing company is excluded as an auditor if it, one of its legal representatives, a partner, a company affiliated with it (§ 228 Corporate Code, Federal Law Gazette I No. 120/2005 ) or a person employed by it for the audit may not be an examiner according to Paragraph 2.

(4) The auditors and the legal representatives of an auditing firm who participate in the audit are obliged to perform their duties conscientiously and impartially and to maintain confidentiality.

(5) The provisions of the Public Accountants Act , Federal Law Gazette I No. 58/1999 , remain unaffected.

§ 10

Note for the following provision

Is only applicable to those political parties that have filed their statutes since January 1, 2000 or have run for elections to a general representative body or to the European Parliament since January 1, 2000 (cf. § 16 Paragraph 4).

Audit by the audit office and sanctions

§ 10.

 (1) The statement of accounts to be drawn up by a political party (Section 5) is also subject to the control of the Court of Auditors.

(2) The Court of Auditors shall examine the numerical accuracy of the statement of accounts and its compliance with this federal law in accordance with the following paragraphs.

(3) If the Court of Auditors determines that the statement of accounts meets the requirements (Section 5), the statement of accounts including lists of donations, sponsorships and advertisements and the list of affiliated companies pursuant to Paragraph 6 and the scope of the legal transactions concluded by these companies in the reporting year with institutions that are subject to audit control, separately for individual parties and companies, on the website of the audit office and the website of the political party.

(4) If the Court of Auditors has specific indications that the information contained in the statement of accounts of a political party is incorrect or incomplete, the political party concerned must be given the opportunity to comment within a reasonable period of time. He can ask the political party to confirm the accuracy of its statement by its auditor.

(5) If the opinion required under Paragraph 4 does not clear away the specific indications of inaccuracies and incompleteness in the statement of accounts available to the Court of Auditors, the Court of Auditors shall draw an auditor who has not yet been appointed with the audit from a list of auditors sent by the Chamber of Public Accountants of the statement of accounts (§ 5). For the auditor to be appointed in this way, Section 9 applies with the proviso that the appointed auditor may not hold any office or function in another party or for another party or may have exercised it in the last three years. The political party must grant the auditor appointed by the Court of Auditors access and inspection of the documents and receipts required for the audit.

(6) If incorrect or incomplete information was provided in the statement of accounts and this could not be eliminated by the political party or the auditor commissioned by the Court of Auditors, or if the party concerned allowed the deadline pursuant to Paragraph 4 to pass unused, a fine is imposed depending on the severity to impose the offense in the case of a violation of Section 5 (4) or (5) or Section 7 in the amount of up to 30,000 euros, in the event of violations of Section 5 (6) in the amount of up to 100,000 euros . If the violation of Section 5, Paragraph 6 or Section 7 results from incorrect or incomplete information or information from a related organization or structure of the party that has its own legal personality, the party must be requested to comment within the meaning of Paragraph 4.

(7) If a political party has accepted donations in violation of Section 6 (1a, 4, 5 or 6), not shown or not reported, a fine of up to three times the amount obtained, depending on the severity of the offense, but at least in the amount of the amount obtained. If the violation results from incorrect or incomplete information or information from a related organization or structure of the party that has its own legal personality, the fine is to be imposed on the related organization or the structure of the party that has its own legal personality.

(8) In the event that the maximum amount regulated in § 4 is exceeded by up to 10%, a fine of up to 15% of the excess amount is to be imposed. If the excess exceeds the limit of 10%, an additional fine of up to 25% of this second excess amount must be imposed. If the excess exceeds the limit of 25%, a further fine of up to 100% of this third excess amount must be imposed. If the excess exceeds the limit of 50%, an additional fine of up to 150% of this fourth excess amount must be imposed.

§ 11

Note for the following provision

Is only applicable to those political parties that have filed their statutes since January 1, 2000 or have run for elections to a general representative body or to the European Parliament since January 1, 2000 (cf. § 16 Paragraph 4).

Independent party transparency senate

§ 11.

(1) (Constitutional provision) The independent party transparency senate has been set up to impose fines and financial penalties in accordance with this federal law, which has to decide on the basis of the documents submitted by the audit office. The members and substitute members of the Senate are independent in exercising their office and are not bound by any instructions.

(2) The Senate is established at the Federal Chancellery. It consists of three members, namely the chairman, a deputy chairman and another member as well as three substitute members. All members and substitute members work on a part-time basis. Only who can be appointed as a member or substitute member

1.

has completed a law degree or a law or political science degree and

2.

has at least ten years of professional experience,

3.

has extensive knowledge of the Austrian party system and

4th

offers every guarantee of independence and is recognized as having excellent qualifications due to his previous work in the field of business, science or education

(3) The following may not be appointed as a member or substitute member:

1.

Members of the federal government, state secretaries, members of a state government, members of the National Council, the Federal Council or other general representative body or the European Parliament, as well as persons who are employed by a political party or a function in a federal or state organization of a political party clothing, persons who are employed by a club of a general representative body or who are assigned to such a body for service, parliamentary employees within the meaning of the Parliamentary Employees Act as well as ombudsmen and the President of the Court of Auditors,

2.

Persons who are employed by a legal entity involved in civic educational work in the field of political parties within the meaning of Section 1 of the Publizistikförderungsgesetz 1984, Federal Law Gazette No. 369,

3.

Employees in the cabinet of a federal minister or the office of a state secretary or another body of the federal government or a state named in Section 5, 6 or 8 (1) of the Payments Act, Federal Law Gazette No. 273/1972 , as well

4th

Persons who have performed one of the activities and functions mentioned in items 1 to 3 within the last year.

(4) For the duration of their office, the members and substitute members may not carry out any activities which could give rise to doubts about the independent exercise of their office or the presumption of bias, or which would hinder them in the performance of their official duties or endanger essential professional interests.

(5) The members are appointed by the Federal President on the proposal of the Federal Government for a period of five years. A substitute member must be appointed for each member, who will take their place if the member is prevented from doing so. A further order is permitted. For one member and his / her substitute member, the federal government is in the process of proposing a cast consisting of three people in alphabetical order

1.

the President of the Constitutional Court,

2.

the President of the Administrative Court and

3.

of the President of the Supreme Court

bound.

(5a) The Senate keeps a register of the registered committees of persons, whereby the proponent and the name of the committee are to be published. Registration is only permitted on presentation of a declaration of consent from the person to be supported.

(6) (Constitutional provision) The proposal of the Federal Government requires the agreement of the Main Committee of the National Council.

(7) After the term of office has expired, the previous members will continue the business until the constituent meeting of the newly appointed members.

(8) The Senate decides with a simple majority if all members are present. Abstention is not permitted. Decisions on fines are to be published on the website of the Senate and, together with the accountability report of the party concerned, also on its website. The decisions of the Senate are not subject to repeal or amendment by administrative means. In the case of complaints against decisions of the Independent Party Transparency Senate, the Federal Administrative Court decides through the Senate.

(8a) Circular resolutions are permitted.

(9) The members are entitled to reimbursement of reasonable travel expenses and cash outlays as well as an attendance fee, which is to be determined by the Federal Government by ordinance, taking into account the importance and scope of the tasks to be carried out.

§ 11a

transparency

§ 11a.

(1) The independent party transparency senate is responsible for the accompanying analysis of the expenses for election campaigns and for the control of the election advertising expenditure and the election advertising reports. One week before the deadline, he is to appoint three experts from the field of transparency and campaign research, from the field of media and from among the group of auditors, who will analyze the election campaigns of the campaigning parties and provide an expert opinion on the plausibility of compliance with the restriction assess election advertising spending.

(2) This report is to be sent to the party applying for election, if possible five months after the election day. The campaigning parties can submit written comments on the report within one month of submission. The reports and the statements are to be published on the homepage of the independent party transparency senate six months after the election day if possible.

(3) The Federal Chancellery bears the costs for these reports.

§ 12

Note for the following provision

Is only applicable to those political parties that have filed their statutes since January 1, 2000 or have run for elections to a general representative body or to the European Parliament since January 1, 2000 (cf. § 16 Paragraph 4).

Sanctions

§ 12.

 (1) The independent party transparency senate has to impose the fine on the basis of a notification made by the Court of Auditors about the political party.

(2) Who willfully

1.

fails to identify a donation contrary to Section 6 (4) or

2.

accepts a donation contrary to Section 6 Paragraph 1a or 5 and does not forward it or

3.

accepts a donation contrary to Section 6 (7) and does not forward it or

4th

a donation received to circumvent Section 6 Paragraph 1a, 4, 5 or 6 no.9 is broken down into partial amounts and booked or has it booked,

commits an administrative offense and is punished with a fine of up to 20,000 euros. In addition, the forfeiture of the amount of the donation exceeding the permitted amount can be recognized.

(2a) If a political party has not submitted the statement of accounts contrary to Section 5 (7), its party support will be withheld until it is actually transmitted. “

(3) Has a member of parliament or an election candidate who stood as a candidate on an election proposal submitted by the political party (Section 6 (9)) failed to report a donation in violation of Section 6 (4) or contrary to Section 6 (1a), 5 or 7 accepted, not reported or not forwarded, an amount of money corresponding to the amount of the respective donation can also be recognized upon expiry.

(3a) If a personal committee has materially supported a party, a member of parliament or a candidate who is running on an election proposal submitted by the political party within the meaning of § 2 no.1 without prior registration with the independent party transparency senate, then this is to be punished with a fine in the amount of five times the benefit.

(4) Anyone who, as the agent responsible for compliance with the provisions on accountability, intentionally provides incorrect information for the accountability report is committing an administrative offense and is punishable by a fine of up to EUR 10,000.

(5) Section 19 VStG, according to which in particular the extent of the fault must be taken into account and the income and financial situation must be taken into account, is to be applied. The amount of the donation should also be considered.

§ 13

5th Part

Application to Other Entities

Campaigning parties

§ 13.

Sections 4 to 12 apply mutatis mutandis to campaigning parties that are not political parties. Donations and advertisements to, as well as sponsorship for, individual canvassers must be shown in the accountability report of the campaigning party.

§ 14

6th Part

Final provisions

Valorisation rule

§ 14.

(1) (Constitutional provision) From 2015 onwards, the amounts listed in § 3 will decrease or increase to the extent that the consumer price index published by the Federal Agency for Statistics Austria changes in 2010 or the previous year’s index replacing it.

(2) The amounts in Section 2 sub-section 5, Section 4, Section 6 Paragraph 1a and 4 to 6 as well as Section 7 Paragraph 1 and 2 decrease or increase annually to the extent to which the Austrian Federal Statistical Office announced 2015 consumer price index or the previous year’s index replacing it changed.

(Note: Paragraph 3 repealed by Art. 1 Z 2, Federal Law Gazette I No. 31/2019 )

§ 15

Enforcement and Application of Other Federal Laws

§ 15.

 (1) The Federal Government, otherwise the Federal Chancellor, is entrusted with the implementation of this Federal Act with regard to Section 1, Section 3, Section 6 (10) and Section 11 (1) and (6) and Section 14 (1).

(2) Insofar as reference is made in this federal act to other federal acts, these are to be applied in their current version.

(3) All personal designations used in this Federal Act apply equally to both female and male persons.

§ 15a

Transitional provisions

§ 15a.

The limit for accepting donations with a total value of 750,000 euros per calendar year is 375,000 euros for the period from the entry into force of this federal law until the end of the calendar year 2019. Donations made before this federal law came into force will not be considered.

§ 16

Entry into force and transitional provisions

§ 16.

(1) (Constitutional provision) Subject to the order made in Paragraph 3, § 1, § 3, § 6 Paragraph 10, § 11 Paragraph 1 and 6 and § 14 Paragraph 1 come into force on July 1, 2012; At the same time, the Law on Political Parties, Federal Law Gazette No. 404/1975 , in the version of the Federal Law, Federal Law Gazette I No. 111/2010 , with the exception of its Section 4, ceases to apply . As far as this is necessary to adapt to § 3, the amendment of state legal regulations must be carried out by the end of December 31, 2012 at the latest.

(2) Article 2, Article 4, Article 6 Paragraphs 1 to 9, Article 9, Article 10 Paragraphs 7 and 8, Article 11 Paragraphs 2 to 5 and 7 to 9, Article 12, Article 13 and Article 15 join Effective July 1, 2012. Section 6 (4) is to be applied in 2012 with the proviso that only the second half of 2012 is recorded as the calendar year. Section 7 applies in 2012 with the stipulation that income from sponsoring and advertisements must only be reported if the underlying agreements were concluded after July 1, 2012. Article 5, Article 8 and Article 10 Paragraphs 1 to 6 come into force on January 1st, 2013 At this point in time, Section 4 of the Political Parties Act, Federal Law Gazette No. 404/1975 , in the version of the Federal Law, Federal Law Gazette I No. 111/2010 , ceases to apply .

(3) ( Constitutional provision ) Section 1 (4) second sentence comes into force on July 1, 2013.

(4) The provisions of Sections 2 to 12 are only applicable to those political parties which have filed their statutes since January 1, 2000 or have run for elections to a general representative body or to the European Parliament since January 1, 2000.

(5) Section 11 in the version of the Federal Law Gazette I No. 84/2013 comes into force on January 1, 2014.

(6) Section 14 (3) in the version of Federal Law 25/2018 (note: Federal Law Gazette I No. 25/2018 ) comes into force on January 1, 2018.

(7) Section 14 (2) and (3) in the version of the Federal Law, Federal Law Gazette I No. 31/2019 , come into force on January 1, 2019.

(8) Section 11, Paragraph 8a in the version of the Federal Law, Federal Law Gazette I No. 24/2020 , shall come into force on the day on which the said federal law was announced and shall cease to be in force on 31 December 2020.

Categories: Election law, Law of Austria

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